Title: Not Our Sammy
Author: Luna Knyte
Summary: Whatever the thing was, whatever it did, Harry's stuck. He's in limbo and he has many things to mull over
Chapter 11: Limbo
When people think about injuries and attacks they think that they are quick and then that's it. When people think about lasting intense pain they think of being tortured in a dungeon by some demented psychopath wearing an execution mask.
The thing with pain however is that it has no reason. No logic, because that's what pain is. It's the breaking of understanding, the headache of seeing the information in front of you and just not being able to comprehend it.
Whatever struck him wasn't a weapon that Harry could identify. It felt as though something had stabbed him however. There wasn't a particular spot. As impossible as it should be, it felt like he was stabbed everywhere. Then it felt like the weapon had been removed slowly just to drag the pain. But even though there was no physical weapon or wound or bleeding for that matter, it still hurt.
It hurt so much.
Harry wanted to cry out but couldn't find his voice. In his experience Harry doubted if it mattered. Just because he begged people to stop didn't mean that they would. The world just loved hurting him.
Harry didn't have a sense of time which bothered him. How long had he been there? Two minutes? Two hours? Two weeks? Two years?
It felt like it could have been years or seconds and it just felt confusing.
It was then that Harry realized that his eyes were closed...or it was very dark wherever he was. All he could tell at that moment was that he was in his mind. Or that was the only part of him that worked. Was he drugged? He didn't think so...unless they rushed him to the hospital and now he was under some heavy narcotics. Harry tried to get some control of him limbs but that was easier said that done, but he didn't give up. His flight or fight instincts fueling him, he continued. All his life those were what help him alive. They were what he learned to trust the most.
So after some more time, which Harry again couldn't tell if seconds or years had passed, he had finally registered every major part of his body. One aching head, two sore legs, two bruised arms, and an agonizing torso...he was in pain but in one piece. He was also disoriented...he felt weightless but the atmosphere was heavy.
Fighting with every ounce of Gryffindor strength that he had Harry opened his eyes and blinked rapidly.
It was so bright!
Having the falling sensation Harry rubbed his eyes and blinked some more.
When the world finally decided to sit still and allowed him to stand he looked an an overly white-toned New York Grand Central Station. There were some gold and silver but it was mostly all white like...just like the time he was killed by Voldemort and he opened his eyes and was at Kings Cross.
One second it was empty. No trains...no staff...no people.
Then there was a loud train whistle and suddenly there were all those things. People walking fast by him, trains stopping and then leaving, people wearing green vest with a skull logo over their hearts ushering people left and right and on trains.
"You have an odd concept of the means to get to the other side Mr. Potter."
Harry looked around for the sound of the voice. The only person sitting down in the whole place. It was an old man, wearing a tailored black suit, a cane at his side, and reading the New York Times.
"The first time you died I believe you arrived at Kings Cross, am I right?"
"Um...yes. But it was empty though...this...are all these people...?" Harry asked looking at the busy people going about, trying to find their place in line or their train.
"Dead? Yes. Heading towards where they should be going," the old man said turning a page in his paper.
Harry nodded and took a seat next to the man. Pain now gone completely. He sat there in silence until he couldn't help it anymore, "Who are you?"
"Death," the old man answered nonchalantly.
"Ah...of course. So I died then?" Harry asked.
"Not...exactly. Isn't surprising really, considering," Death said.
"By not exactly does that mean that I did die but I'll be going back to the living?" Harry asked.
"You do that a lot, this time is no different," Death replied.
"Doesn't that anger you? Can't you just make it so I stay dead?" Harry asked, curious rather than serious.
Death put aside his paper and asked Harry, "Do you want to stay dead?"
"I...I should have died a long time ago. It's not natural..." Harry said.
"No...no it isn't. There's an order that the world lives by and I am part of that order...everything must eventually die...everything. But the trick to that is time. And it's just not your time yet Harry. You have much left to do before you and I meet for the last time," Death said.
"I'm not sure if I can take anymore Death...I'm at my limit," Harry whispered.
"...You were perched on top of a pedestal in a middle of a stage for something that you didn't really do for all to see. You were watched by millions of people who praised you for just being human...because that's what humans do best Harry, they survive. But as the years passed all you did was get boasted higher and higher until you couldn't get off that pedestal anymore...at least not without dying...and that's what happened...you jumped off and died...on the inside of course. On the outside you kept on fighting. Like you were born to do..." Death said.
"So what? Just keep going, keep trying...I don't think I can do that," Harry said leaning back on the bench.
"You want my advice?" Death asked.
Harry looked sideways and nodded with a shrug.
"Quit hunting," Death said.
"What? I can't do that!" Harry argued.
"You'll keep finding the true horrors of this planet if you keep looking for them Harry," Death reasoned.
Harry sighed, "I know but...I can't leave those guys behind...They need m-...I need them..."
"I didn't say leave them, I said quit hunting. From what I know of your life...you never had a steady home...want a good start to a better life? Start there. Then make it work with your life now...I hear that some of these hunters are in desperate need of a Road House...the last one got blown up by demons."
"Why can I see people this time?" Harry decided to change the subject.
"Because of the whole Master of Death thing. Before you were just Harry Potter, the boy who lived, Voldemort's rival. There were people around then too, you just couldn't see them. Now that you've been granted the title of Master of Death you can see them," Death said.
"I broke the wand and lost the stone," Harry stated.
"But kept the cloak," Death said meaningfully.
"I...I don't understand," Harry replied.
"It's like a hearth Harry. Even if you get rid of a few burning logs, so long as there is one left...the fire still lives. Same with your powers...or what's left of them anyway," Death said.
"That meaning?" Harry asked.
"With all three of the objects you would practically be immortal...you'd be my boss, hence "Master of Death", but you have one of the three things that made you such. What I don't know for sure...practicality or sentiment?" Death asked.
"A little of both I guess. It's the last thing I have of my father and...it does come in handy," Harry admitted.
"Yes...that ancestor of yours was clever in asking that of me. Interesting lot you Potters are," Death said.
"We don't disappoint," Harry replied with a forced grin. "But wait, what did you mean, 'what's left of them'?"
"You keeping the cloak, for whatever reason, gives you a percentage of Master of Death powers. Not the whole package...just a little bit," Death said.
"What part?" Harry asked.
"You kept the cloak," was all Death said and picked up his paper. Leaving Harry to figure it out.
Harry went from looking at Death to staring in front of him. He watched as people kept entering Grand Central Station. Old, young, sick, healthy, men, women, children...no one was safe from Death...no, no one was safe from being mortal. That was what it meant to be mortal. Be born, live your life, do your purpose, and then die. Being given life doesn't make you mortal, the ability to die does.
How many times has he died? When he was one in his parents home, at Voldemort's feet in the Forbidden Forest, fighting demons and ghost, revengeful Death Eaters, his own vices...this thing. But each time...he'd wake up again.
It wasn't that he couldn't die...
"You kept the cloak."
"You couldn't find me...I'm not immortal, just...you couldn't find me, or your reapers. I couldn't be sent to the next life," Harry said but then frowned, "I haven't been wearing my cloak though...I've had it stored in Sirius's room."
"Yes but what most people don't understand is that magic is alive. It's there! To be used, not hidden and stored. The magic from the Deathly Hallows as well...it was unused magic that found a master who needed them more than most. You have a knack for finding trouble Harry, the magic of those objects gets used a lot keeping you hidden, like the cloak was supposed to do, and then bringing you back, like the stone was supposed to do, and helping you fight back and winning, like the wand was supposed to do...they like the attention," Death explained.
"So...will I ever be able to die?" Harry asked.
"When you're ready," Death said simply with a turn of the page.
Harry's brow furrowed, "What does that mean?"
"Do you recall the story of your ancestor?" Death asked.
"Yes," Harry replied.
"Well there you go," Death answered.
"I don't understand," Harry said with a frown.
Death sighed, "When did I find you ancestor in the story the second time?"
Harry thought about the tale, "...After he lived his life. When he was old and there was nothing left for him to do. Then he passed the cloak down to his son. So that's it?...the magic of the Hallows will keep me hidden from you until I'm ready and have lived my life?"
"Bingo," Death replied a bit sarcastically.
"Wait...if it's worked this long...why are you here now?" Harry asked.
"You would've been in a coma otherwise. And...someone wanted to see you," Death replied.
"Who?" Harry asked.
"Their train should be pulling up right...now," Death nudged his head to the left.
The whole station was suddenly empty. One huge red train pulled up to the station. The conductor got out first and opened the door for the first class car.
"Mom..." Harry's throat constricted.
"Hello sweetheart," Lily replied, her gaze soft.
"Everything went well I assume?" Death asked, walking up next to Harry. Then Harry ran to his mother and hugged her.
"Yes...Though James and Sirius stayed behind...I couldn't bring them here, they were too engrossed in..." Lily started.
"Beating the hell out of that damn trickster," another voice came from the train.
"Remus!" Harry cried and ran to the man.
"Yes...they were quite adamant about Gabriel seeing the errors of his way," Death said.
"Gabriel?" Harry asked.
Lily sighed, "Come on sweetie, let's sit."
They walked back to the bench and sat down. Lily on Harry's right and Remus on his left.
"Gabriel has been...for the lack of a better word, stalking you. For a long time now," Lily started.
"How long is a long time?" Harry asked.
"He was the one who first slipped you Memorial Bliss and has been alternating your mental reality to continue dosing you...nearly two years," Remus said.
Harry ducked his head and shook it, "No...I was weak...I kept going for more and I..."
"Oh sweetheart," Lily cooed and hugged her son.
"No, you weren't weak Harry. You were just emotionally drained. Your defenses were down and he took advantage of you," Remus said, rubbing Harry's shoulder reassuringly.
Harry shook his head harder, "I kept going towards my dealer and I gave in every time and...I'm sorry...I'm so sorry," Harry sobbed.
"Shh...there there...Harry...that's not the true story. This...this goes back so far, you'll be surprised," Lily said gently.
"Listen Harry...Gabriel saw the potential that comes with the Hallows. He knew what you've given up and knew what you had left. It wasn't much but if used right it could make him the ace in the whole in any situation. But you were the sole 'Master of Death' and he couldn't just kill you. You can't die until you're ready. And only you and you alone could have these powers, but he could drain them out of you eventually. And if he were to drain you while in a momentary death state he'd get some power." Remus said.
"It became more troublesome when you associated yourself with the Winchesters and their angel. With them so close to you his chances were zip to none. He needed them out of the way. But the prove to be hard due to your romance with Sam," Death said.
"He took advantage of Dean's death. Took advantage of Sam's use of demon blood and lust for revenge on behalf of the person who meant so much to him growing up. Dean meaning so much to Sam...well his love for his brother was momentarily stronger than his love for you. But it was still Sam in there...deep down inside," Lily said gently with a small smile. "He really does care for you sweetheart."
"But...I don't understand," Harry confessed.
"We know Harry. And we don't expect you to. Whether what happened was real or not it feels real...you remember it to be. The emotions and feeling you felt during the time were very real to you and it's alright to be angry and upset. It's alright to feel Harry, but you can't let it get the best of you. From now on you can't escape your feelings. you have to face them head on no matter how hard it seems," Remus said.
"Explain it to me then...what actually happened?" Harry demanded.
Lily sighed, "It's not that everything you remember didn't happen love. A lot of it did. All those fights in alleys and underground basements...all those drinks that nearly killed you...all the overdoses...they actually happened. All the wounds, bruises, cuts...Loki started the domino effect and all of those horrible things followed."
"So...Sam actually..." Harry couldn't to this day say it.
"No...not that. He...he still has a bit of a temper. You actually did go face to face with him, or rather fist to fist. Both James and Sirius are quite vocal of their thoughts on your choice of mate but given the pretense of the situations...well," Remus answered.
Harry looked at them with owl like eyes. "You mean...?"
"It was all Loki's morbid imagination. It caused the fear and pain and distrust for Sam that Loki needed you to have. It caused you to get weaker and caused your shields to fall. It caused you to run away from them and be completely alone and vulnerable..." Remus said.
Lily squeezed him tight and whispered, "Love is a powerful thing sweetheart. My love for you kept you alive from Voldemort's killing curse that night all those years ago. It's that same power of love that kept Sam from doing something so vile to the one he loves."
Harry, barely being able to comprehend the information that he was getting, started to breath shallowly. He quickly stood up and rushed to the nearest trashcan. He was sick with relief. When there was nothing left to vomit he sat back down and allowed his mother and Remus to hug him as tight as they could.
"Wait...what happened? Back at the house I mean?" Harry asked.
"The Hallows are ancient ritual magic based. There' a full moon out tonight so that increased Loki's odds of obtaining the power of the Hallows. After you running away from the Winchesters and Castiel, Loki didn't think they'd be able to find you. He thought he had you right where he wanted, but then you returned to Number 12 and Castiel and Dean were there.
"He tried getting Sam since he was alone. With Sam hurt he thought Dean would have Castiel take him over there since the whole situation with you, he never thought they'd bring Sam to you. The way things were going it seemed like the Winchesters were going nowhere fast. He needed to act despite having some of the most stubborn hunters and angel there. He attacked, he's blamed Sam and is using his guilt to power some of him...not fully sure how," Death explained.
"Are they alright though?" Harry asked concerned.
"They're extremely worried. They've taken your body to the healer who found you after you OD'd. They don't know what's happened. You're in a comatose state at the moment, vitals are holding but you don't seem to be waking up any time soon. They have no idea what to give you to wake up. Not even Castiel's powers are working," Death answered.
"What do I do?" Harry asked.
"You'll wake up once you decide you're ready to go back," Death said.
"And Loki?" Harry asked.
"He was using my image to get at Sam. The nerve of him! Death had heard rumors of what Loki was up to and since he couldn't find you, he looked for Loki, and when he felt the trickster's presence at Grimmauld Place he knew this would happened. He gave all of us the power to come back and show that bloody git that you don't mess with the Marauders and their family!" Lily exclaimed.
"Though your parents and friends did show him his lesson he would have tried again," Death said.
"Would have?" Harry echoed.
Death put his two fingers on Harry's forehead, there was a blinding light, and then Harry felt a bit dizzy. "What was that?"
"Blood seal. Now you are the only one capable of holding these powers Harry. Human or otherwise. If Loki or anyone else tries to get your powers they'll burn as if their soul had become a supernova," Death said.
"So...everything's better?" Harry deadpanned.
Lily hugged him and made him look at her, "First step towards better, Harry. There are many more. And I can't promise it won't be painful. But you're a Potter...I know you can do it."
She reached into her pocket and pulled out an emerald trinket on a silver chain. "This is yours. Sam got it for you."
"What is it?" Harry asked, accepting it.
"It's supposed to be the Sirius Dog star. A reminder of your godfather and it's emerald because it's a reminded of yours and your moms eyes. And we've all chipped in as well...it's a super powerful beyond the grave protection charm...with extra love," Remus said with one of his smiles.
"He still...actually loves me?" Harry whispered.
"He never stopped...it was just hard to see through all that hell and pain," Lily replied.
Harry gulped and then asked in a quiet voice, "I...me being...like this...it doesn't disappoint you?"
"Oh sweetheart, only giving into those monsters and surrendering yourself evil will make us disappointed in you. But we don't ever have to worry because you are a good boy...too good a boy. Who's smart, and brave, and who cares so much...we love you son, no matter who you choose to love," Lily whispered to her son.
Harry cried into her embrace and nodded. She held him tight and rubbed his back soothingly.
"It's time for you to head back now," Death said monotonously from the side.
Remus and Lily stood up, Harry still in her embrace.
"Wait! Can't I just five more minutes? And what about dad and Sirius? Can't I see them?" Harry begged.
"I'm afraid not tonight. We've broken a lot of rules just doing this...try the next full moon," Death suggested.
"Next full moon?" Harry asked, wiping the tears from his eyes.
"You're the Master of Death, Harry. The power of the Resurrection Stone is still in you...you can't bring them back solid, but their ghost should provide for an interesting talk. You just have to wait for some celestial help. Full moons don't just benefit werewolves you know." Death said with a ghost of a grin.
"Goodbye for now sweetheart. And remember...no matter who you choose to be, so long as you're proud and happy, we'll always love you," Lily said and squeezed him.
"She's right cub. We'll always be proud of you...do me a favor though," Remus said, getting his own hug in.
"What?" Harry asked.
"Go visit Teddy. His gran is getting close to coming over...he'll need you," Remus said with a tight smile.
"But...I...I can't. My life is so not right...I can't take care of myself let alone a child...I'm sorry Remus...I can't..." Harry whispered.
"No Harry, you can. I know it's difficult, but it needs to be done," Lily insisted.
"That would mean..." Harry began.
Remus nodded, "Yes...you'll have to let the wizarding world that you're not dead. At least start with your friends."
"I can't hide from this can't I?" Harry asked.
"Like with me...not forever," Death replied.
Harry sighed, "I'll have to talk with Dean and Cas and Sam when I wake up huh?"
"Not all at once. Castiel is trying to chase whatever hurt you. Sam is close but Dean's made him understand your condition," Death said.
"Dean's a good protector. He's the older brother you deserve. And he'll be glad to hear that his brother isn't a true monster," Remus said.
"You take good care of yourself now Harry. Your demon's gone now...from this moment it's all you now. And I know you have the will power to do what's right...you've always have," Lily said with one more hug.
Harry walked them to the train that waited for them and they hopped on. They waved and the whistle went off again. With that, the train was off. Once the whole train was out of sight the people returned to the station.
Harry turned to look at Death.
"I don't suppose you could erase all of the memories I've got because of that bastard could you?" Harry asked.
Death sighed and shook his head, "I'm afraid not Harry. There's too much of it and all of his doing were connected to your decisions and actions afterward. I would be deleting this entire past year or so and you need to remember I'm afraid."
Harry sighed too, "That's alright...things were never made easy for me, this is no different."
"Until we meet again Harry," Death said and began to walk away.
"Will it be our last time meeting?" Harry called out.
"I'm Death Harry, not a seer," Death replied and then everything turned white and blinded Harry. He covered his eyes and groaned. It felt like the ground had disappeared from beneath his feet and he was falling sideways. He didn't remember landing but he was suddenly laying on a surface. It was soft by definition but still not too soft or comfortable.
"Harry?" called a voice. He recognized it.
Doing what he did before he tried regaining control over all of his limbs until he did. Once he was sure he was all accounted for me forced his eyes open. There was a lot of white, but not as much as in Limbo. Then the smell of disinfectant reached his nose. So he was in a hospital.
"Harry? Can you hear me? Oh please wake up," Dean's voice registered in his mind.
"De'n?" Harry tried to speak but his throat was dry.
"Yeah Har, it's me. How ya feelin?" Dean asked.
Once Harry's eyes opened and focused he saw Dean, and it looked like he had better days.
"Wa'er," Harry grumbled and Dean got him a small cup.
Once his throat wasn't dry he cleared it and said, "Hey..."
"How ya feelin?" Dean repeated.
"Not sure...I'm a bit...out of it...I just hope I feel better than you look," Harry said with a small teasing smile.
Taking it as a good sign Dean smiled cheekily and replied, "Than you must feel amazing."
Harry smiled and so did Dean, but then he frowned, "No seriously, how are you?"
"I'm...fine I guess," Harry replied.
"Fine? Harry...you've been in a coma for two month!" Dean exclaimed and Harry's eyes widened.
Excuse any errors
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